Florida Clergy Lawsuits Say Abortion Ban Violates Religious Freedom

by sima88

(Reuters) – Clergy members of five religions sued the state of Florida on Monday over a new law criminalizing most abortions in the state after 15 weeks of pregnancy, saying it violates their religious freedom rights.

The five separate lawsuits https://tmsnrt.rs/3BBEdIr, filed in Miami-Dade County, claim the state’s ban curtails their ability to counsel congregants about abortion in accordance with their faiths, since Florida law prohibits counseling or encouraging a crime.

They also claim the abortion ban violates a Florida religious freedom law that prohibits the government from “substantially burdening” the exercise of religion, unless there is a compelling state interest that cannot be met with fewer restrictions.

A Florida synagogue has also filed a lawsuit challenging the abortion law. That case is pending in a different state court.

The Florida law, which bans abortions after 15 weeks with few exceptions, went into effect on July 1. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the law in April, before the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling overturning the constitutional right to abortion nationwide.

(Reporting by Jacqueline Thomsen in Washington; Editing by David Bario and David Gregorio)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

Related Posts

%d bloggers like this: